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Replaced Theme - How should it be done?

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37 replies to this topic

#1 of 38 OFFLINE   Gord Lacey

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Posted August 28 2005 - 03:26 AM

I'd love to hear people's thoughts on how a theme song should be replaced on DVD when the piece of music costs too much.

There are a few examples I've seen:

1) New music added to old visuals: This has happened most recently on "Married... with Children." The new song is inserted over the standard opening of the show.

2) Overseas opening used: "Dawson's Creek" uses a song recorded for overseas airings. While this is a new song for people in the US/Canada, it was something that's associated with the show in different markets.

3) Variation of 2: "Las Vegas" used the US opening song for the pilot episode, but swapped in the overseas opening for subsequent episodes.

4) Removal of most openings: "Joan of Arcadia" contained the opening (with music) on the first episode of each disc. Other episodes included credits during the "teaser" which opened each episode, but there wasn't a theme song, or proper video opening for those episodes.

5) Removal of all openings: Just get rid of the opening to the show completely.

Let's not debate music costs, but stick with the best way (in your opinion), to handle replacing a theme song on a DVD set. I'm interested in your opinions (yes, I have a favorite).

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#2 of 38 OFFLINE   ElijahS


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Posted August 28 2005 - 03:29 AM

Either what was done to Joan of Arcadia or Las Vegas. Luckily, this hasn't affected any of the shows I collect, but to me those seems to be the best options.
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#3 of 38 OFFLINE   Will_B



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Posted August 28 2005 - 03:32 AM

Sound alike musicians, sound alike band. Make a note-for-note, inflection-for-inflection perfect copy of the original music.
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#4 of 38 OFFLINE   WillG



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Posted August 28 2005 - 03:42 AM

It's difficult to say, as there are different situations when it comes to a theme song. I don't mind how they handled "Married with Children" as I don't watch the show for a theme song. But are the rights typically negotiated for the entire package or for each episode in the set? If it is the latter, it would be nice if they studio would pay to licence the song for the 1st episode in the set so everybody get to hear the original music once. However, there are shows where the theme song tells the story. Most people know how the "Brady Bunch" theme goes and the premise of the show, but I think in a instance like that, the removal really would make a difference. However, a theme song that tells a story was obviously written specifically for the show, so can they fall into the same kind of rights hell that non-specific theme songs fall into? I would eliminate option 5 entirely from what should be done and go with option 4 for a bit more of a reasonalbe alternative. I suppose with most other shows, the best option could vary on a case by case basis.
I'm not seeing how that could work because you would still need permission to do that (although maybe it would run a bit cheaper that using the original song)
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#5 of 38 OFFLINE   John*D


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Posted August 28 2005 - 03:45 AM

4) Removal of most openings I usually skip over opening credits, but at least give it to us once per disc.

#6 of 38 OFFLINE   TravisR


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Posted August 28 2005 - 04:48 AM

If the option was between not releasing it or changing it, I'd go with: 1) New music added to old visuals

#7 of 38 OFFLINE   Dane Marvin

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Posted August 28 2005 - 04:57 AM

Choice 1. Can't really see how anyone would want choices 4 or 5. Choice 4 was done with early "Little House on the Prairie" sets, much to everyone's dismay. Of course, that also wound up shaving off some episode-specific credits off of the episodes themselves (not a good move).

While implementing choice 4 may not necessarily mean losing episode-specific credits (a la "Little House") in all cases, I can see it happening again with some random show, probably a Lion's Gate one. Posted Image After all, give these studios an inch, they'll take a mile.

Choice 1. Sony handled "Married... with Children" the best they could.

#8 of 38 OFFLINE   AnthonyC



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Posted August 28 2005 - 06:37 AM

Definitely choice 1. It should be noted on the package as well.

#9 of 38 OFFLINE   Katherine_K


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Posted August 28 2005 - 06:46 AM

I've never had a set where music needed replacing period, but if I was looking at a set that needed the theme replaced I'd say I'd want Option 1. As Anthony said, it should be noticed on the package. The ideal situation in my book when edits are impossible to avoid including music replacements, missing episodes, or occasional use of syndication cuts is what A&E did with Profiler season 1. It was clearly marked on the back of the package and consumers could see what was removed before purchase.

#10 of 38 OFFLINE   ravma


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Posted August 28 2005 - 07:37 AM

I'm actually kind of partial to the International opening of Dawson's Creek (even though I am in the US and that opening was ONLY used for Season 1 abroad). Even so, I don't know that I have a preference for other shows. On DC, I actually LIKE that they replaced the theme (no, I haven't bought Seasons 2+ however), but that's a show specific solution. I think it comes down to what works best for the show. If I had to pick a universal solution though, I'd pick Removal of Most Openings. At least the opening is there in some form!

#11 of 38 OFFLINE   Daniel-M


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Posted August 28 2005 - 07:47 AM

If they for how much they use the song, then solution 4 is the right one. Use it on a copulr of episodes and cut it from the rest

#12 of 38 OFFLINE   David Williams

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Posted August 28 2005 - 07:55 AM

Options 1,2,3 would be palatable to me (Options 2 & 3 more so than 1).

Options 4 and 5 are disgusting and would cause me to think twice on my absolute favorite shows and I would completely boycott others.

I like the idea of licensing the music and having some John/Jane Doe re-record it with the same arrangement.

Studios could easily avoid the problem in the first place by licensing everything for DVD from the start (obviously, only with new shows). It may limit their choices in what they can afford, but it solves this problem before the consumer becomes involved. House would be the poster boy for what not to do.
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#13 of 38 OFFLINE   Ron Lee Green

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Posted August 28 2005 - 08:04 AM

I would like this, too. Some companies did this on some of those "Beverly Hillbillies" public domain releases. Some used a banjo instrumental, but another company used a sound alike singing the theme song. I wouldn't say it was a perfect "inflection-for-inflection" copy of the original (the singer sounded more like Elvis), but it served its purpose. It was fun and upbeat like the original, and better than listening to the new instrumental music.

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#14 of 38 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted August 28 2005 - 08:31 AM

Wouldn't matter in the least to me. If the theme's being replaced, I ain't buying anyway.
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#15 of 38 OFFLINE   Glenn Overholt

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Posted August 28 2005 - 10:17 AM

I'd go with #1, but I would like to see what the original songs were, and WHO wanted too much money. They don't have to put in the amount, but the jerks should be noted. Glenn

#16 of 38 OFFLINE   Katherine_K


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Posted August 28 2005 - 10:36 AM

That might make it even more difficult to get music rights from those holders in the future.

#17 of 38 OFFLINE   AnthonyC



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Posted August 28 2005 - 10:55 AM

Unless the show's fans hassle whatever company that prevents the theme song from being included.

#18 of 38 OFFLINE   Katherine_K


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Posted August 28 2005 - 11:01 AM

From purely a buisness point of view? You never ever do anything to burn bridges with people you may have to deal with again. Say you are studeo X and you name music rights holder Y as being the reason the theme had to be replaced on show A. You go to try and get music rights from them for show B, completely unrelated to show A, possibly a different genre with different fans. Unfortuantely your naming rights holder Y by name has t'd them off. Than the fans of two shows (or more) get screwed and you just had a headache in the middle of your office.

#19 of 38 OFFLINE   Andreas_K


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Posted August 28 2005 - 11:15 AM

On some Karaoke video games I have, they use different artists to perform the songs. They sometimes sound very much like the original and apparently it's also done to cut costs. I could definitely live with that on TV DVD's and I'm pretty pedantic as far as music replacement is concerned. Posted Image

#20 of 38 OFFLINE   Steve...O



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Posted August 28 2005 - 11:47 AM

Option 1 would be preferred unless it messes with the actual program content (as happened with MWC) then I would say option 5. Steve
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